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Thread: Week 19 warning and comment on Siddhartha

  1. #1
    First, the warning: When I pre-read Siddhartha, I found a passage on p. 43 that I thought should be blacked out (Siddhartha's dream). This passage was not listed in the At a Glance section in Week 18.

    Then, the comment: My dss and I are appalled at the poor editing of the Norilana edition that is recommended. We've found numerous instances of misspelling and bad grammar throughout the book. Is there a way to contact the publisher?
    Susan in La
    Mom to 18yods (ToG graduate), 17yods (R), 15yodd (R), 13yodd (D)
    Redesigned 2

  2. #2
    Hi Susan. :-)

    1) I see the passage you mean, and I see why it would bother you (or your son). In my copy of the book I did actually have it flagged as a warning, but somehow that didn't get into the Glance. I'm so sorry! :-/ I'll retrofit that warning into the Week 18 Glance right away and get a correction on the updates page. :-) Thanks for pointing it out!

    2) About the numerous typos in the edition we recommend: I agree! It's a shame that the book should have so many of those, but this is the only version we could find that seemed suitable (in terms of being an English translation, available in print, etc.). The book gives a website on the back: Norilana.com. You might try that and see if you could make comments to them about the quality of the text. And if you run across a better version, please let us know!

    At the same time, it's worth noting that in some cases what we would view as "bad grammar" may just be the translator's attempt to give us a more literal rendering of the original German... so that's a factor to be aware of as well.

    Hope this helps a little; please let me know if you have more thoughts, especially regarding things that should have warnings attached. I'm always eager to improve in that area particularly, since we really, really want you ladies to have a heads-up on anything objectionable in these literary selections!

    Christy Somerville

  3. #3
    My 16 yr old dd is wondering why a book like this was chosen by a Christian curriculum. How do I respond?

    I think if a book like this is included there should be a lot of warnings in the reading assignment page. I would like to see an alternative fiction selection in future updates.

  4. #4
    I agree that the translation recommended was really poor. I read a different translation from the library (probably OOP, I had no reason to check) and it was much better.

    In fact, one of the discussion topics was very translation-dependent. There was a discussion about something like changing perspectives - something about going to "I" without explicitly saying you were doing so - and this confused me because it didn't occur in my translation at all. I don't remember the details, but I did want to let you know that this feature does vary between translations, and possibly was a feature of the translation rather than the original writing.

    It's hard to select translations! There are two translations of All Quiet On the Western Front, and the one recommended is by far the weaker one. I was wondering if there was a good reason for not recommending the other. Now I see that the Murdoch version seems to be out of print - which is really a shame. I simply can't understand how bad translations can live for so long....

    As for why a Christian curriculum should have such a book, I am personally grateful for the opportunity to live through someone else's eyes. That is part of compassion, and compassion is one of the things that we are called to as Christians. When we understand more of the ways that reasonable people with good intentions can interpret the world - the things that they can give their all to, the things that seem worthy of faith and dedication, the ways they struggle and the ways they triumph - then we understand more of God's world, whether those peolpe are Christians or not. They are still touched by common grace, and if we had been born elsewhere, we might have chosen those paths. There is still much wisdom there - and even if we, in the end, reject some or all of it, it still reflects the reasoning and passions and realities of God's world, either in a very real way, or in an apparently real way, but either way I am the richer for having tried to see the world through someone else's eyes for those few hours. I am the richer for having (briefly) pretended that I don't have my own convictions, and having imagined what it would be like to see the world in a completely different way.

    I don't know how much sense that makes, but that's my take on it!
    Beth
    TOG Year 1
    Doing TOG since 2005
    R (17), D (14), UG (9)
    Math: Singapore Primary Mathematics, Discovering Mathematics
    German, Spanish

  5. #5
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    Recently I had to select a translation of a theological work for my personal study time and when I went to the place where I get recommendations, I found the folks there were pretty evenly split. In the end, since one version cost only $15, I bought both and read the same amount into each one and then made my choice. Sometimes translation can make a world of difference but it does so in interaction with the reader. Which means choosing a translation can be a very difficult job.

    I agree with Beth that I am glad that Tapestry pushes both myself and my student the extra step of reading what others have written.

    And if I might ask Beth, who was the translator you liked?
    Pat
    "Of two evils, choose neither."
    Charles H. Spurgeon
    http://www.spurgeon.org/mainpage.htm

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